From July 23, 1911
“IN TWO HUNDRED YEARS THERE WILL BE NO POETS OR AUTHORS”: Thus Predicts Victor Auburtin, and the Cause, He Claims, Is Democracy and Utilitarianism. (PDF)
It’s only been one hundred years since this prediction was made, so it’s premature to say it hasn’t come true, but so far I think Victor Auburtin is a bit off.
“I believe that art is dying, and fo this belief I shall speak in the present work. Art is dying of democracy and utilitarianism. It is dying because the soil it needs has been built over — the soil of simplicity and superstition. I believe firmly that in 200 years we shall have no more artists and no more poets. On the other hand, we shall surely have machines, duly patented, by which may be turned out sixty plaster copies of the Apollo di Belvedere in a single minute.”
These are the opening words of a highly characteristic work just published by one of that galaxy of young Germans whose names have become known throughout the civilied world through their association with the Simplicissimus — the humorous weekly which by many is regarded as the most effective enemy so far encountered by the upholders of German bureaucracy, militarism, “junkerdom,” and reaction.
The entire run of the German satirical magazine Simplicissimus can be found at simplicissimus.info.
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